Slang and filler words to avoid in business

These terms lower your credibility and level of professionalism, says the author. So knock it off.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Whether you’re presenting a new proposal, hosting a debate, or engaging in professional conversation, there are a few words and phrases you should try to avoid.

Using slang or filler words can distract and annoy your audience. More importantly, these words can erode your audience’s confidence in what you have to offer.

Avoid the following slang and filler words to better convey your message and instill confidence in your audience:

You guys. Referencing a group of people as “you guys” lowers your level of professionalism. This term should be reserved for friendly conversations, not those with clients or co-workers. Instead, use terms such as “your team” or “your organization” to more appropriately get your point across.

You know. Ending a statement with “you know?” lowers your level of authority. It implies that you are unsure of your statement and whether you correctly verbalized your point. Read your audience’s body language instead of directly asking for their approval. Do they look confused or are they following your every word? This way, you can correctly determine your audience’s understanding without hurting the power of your message.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.